People who draw attention the benefits of teacher/student Facebook communication miss the point. There is no doubt that there are some fantastic innovations through social media that would allow teachers to respond to the educational needs of their students. But all benefits go out the window when one considers the dangers.
High school teacher Jennifer Kennedy has a prepared response for students who send her “friend” requests on Facebook.
No. Or, at least not until they graduate.
It’s a rule she said she shares with fellow teachers at Sacramento New Technology High School.
Increasingly, school district officials across the region and throughout the country are coming up with their own guidelines for what kind of online and electronic communication is acceptable between teachers and students.
Is it OK to be Facebook friends?
What about direct messages on Twitter?
Or text messaging from personal cellphones?
“We have a generation of kids who communicate this way,” said Kennedy, who teaches sophomores and seniors. “If you say absolutely no Facebook or texting, you are cutting off an important relationship with students.”
In districts with policies against such behavior, officials have said social media sites blur the line between the professional and private lives of teachers. And then there are the rare but widely reported allegations of abuse initiated or intensified through social media.
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